Calling out Pakistan's "lie" that India is sabotaging the dialogue process, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Saturday asked world leaders how can talks can be pursued in the midst of "terrorist bloodshed" with a nation that "glorifies killers."
In a hard-hitting retort to Pakistan, Swaraj said India has made many efforts to have talks with Islamabad and the only reason they have stopped is because of Pakistan's behaviour.
"We are accused of sabotaging the process of talks. This is a complete lie. We believe that talks are the only rational means to resolve the most complex of disputes. Talks with Pakistan have begun many times. If they stopped, it was only because of Pakistan's behaviour," she said in her address to the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly here.
The Indian leader told the world body that after assuming power, Pakistan's new Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting a meeting between the countries' foreign ministers on the margins of the General Assembly. India accepted the proposal but, within hours of its acceptance, news came that terrorists had killed three Indian jawans, she said.
"Does this indicate a desire for dialogue," Swaraj asked.
She informed the General Assembly that various governments in India over the years have tried the peace option. Prime Minister Modi, by inviting the Heads of the SAARC nations to his swearing in ceremony, had begun his attempt for dialogue on his very first day in office. Swaraj said she too had in December 2016, personally gone to Islamabad and offered a comprehensive bilateral dialogue.
"But soon after, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists attacked our air force base in Pathankot on January 2. Please explain to me how we could pursue talks in the midst of terrorist bloodshed," she asked.
Swaraj also slammed Pakistan for time and again accusing India of human rights violations, saying "who can be a greater transgressor of human rights than a terrorist?
"Those who take innocent human lives in pursuit of war by other means are defenders of inhuman behavior, not of human rights. Pakistan glorifies killers; it refuses to see the blood of innocents," she said.
In another strong retort, Swaraj said it has become something of a habit with Pakistan to "throw the dust of deceit and deception against India in order to provide some thin cover for its own guilt."
She recalled that the United Nations had seen Pakistan's use of deceit and deception last year when its representative, using her right to reply, displayed some photographs as "proof" of "human rights violations" by India. In a major goof-up and embarrassment for Pakistan on the global stage, the photographs turned out to be from another country, the minister noted.
"Similar false accusations have become a part of its standard rhetoric," Swaraj said.